Vacuuming: The 10 Mistakes You’re Making

It keeps your house and floors looking fresh, clean and allergen-and-dust-free. Thankfully, vacuuming isn’t the most laborious of household tasks despite being one of the most essential. But did you know that there are ways in which you can get even more out of your trusty dust busting appliance?

It is important to do things properly to get the most out of all of your appliances, and your vacuum is no different.

Vacuuming: How Not To Do It

Here are some mistakes you are likely making, so follow the tips for an even better clean next time:

1. You wait until the bag/container is full before emptying

We all like to make life easier. Trailing to the bin and emptying the dust compartment of your vacuum can be unpleasant, but it will work best when it is less than half full. Don’t wait until the dust levels reach the very top of the ‘maximum’ line.

2. You only go in a straight line

This is especially relevant if you have a deep pile carpet. Vacuuming removes the dirt from the top layers of the fabric, and it is only if you go in both directions that you remove the dust from every angle of the fibres.

Start going vertically, horizontally and diagonally. The extra work will be worth it (and it is more exercise so you can have a slice of cake as a treat afterwards. Definitely how it works…)

3. The settings aren’t right

Most modern high-end vacuums boast that they adjust automatically between surfaces, but it is always worth a double-check that the height and brush length is correct.

There should be hard floor and carpet settings, and maybe some in between for different piles too.


4. Vacuuming when it looks like it needs it

It is all too easy to only go over the floor when you can see dirt, whether it be brought in from outside on the dogs paws, or it is just looking a bit grubby from general wear and tear.

To get the most out of vacuuming, you need to be using this appliance every day – this will prevent any dirt from getting too ground in. Especially if you have a busy house or pets.

5. You don’t use the attachments

Go along your skirting boards ‘as close as you can get without extra effort’? Never bother using the upholstery attachment on your sofa? Don’t even know what half of them are for?!

Getting right into the corners and cleaning every surface dust can settle on is the best way to remove it, so get the user manual back out and read about how to use them all. They are there for a reason.

6. You neglect the brush roll

Hairs, strings, threads. It can all wrap around the brush roll and lessen its power. Hopefully, you won’t let it reach the stage where it can no longer turn, which can burn out the motor and mean an expensive repair/replacement.

Grab a pair of small scissors and get snipping at everything wrapped around (bar the bristles of course). Most models will have a removable bar, so you can even give it a wash to remove trapped dirt. Just dry it properly afterwards.

Vacuum Cleaner Preparation

7. No prepping is done

The prospect of hoovering is terrible enough. The prospect of tidying up before hoovering? More time cleaning?!

We all go around that pair of shoes that have been left in the middle of the floor, the dog’s toys spread absolutely everywhere, or even that gym bag that you still haven’t unpacked, every so often. But the surface under these things needs cleaning too. It also means you don’t have to pause to bend down and pick them up as you go.

8. You’re rushing the process

“I’ll just give the vacuum a quick go over the living room”.

No. Stop. What is the point? Rushing it over the surface means it doesn’t even have enough time to pick up what it needs to pick up. If you want to do a job, you may as well do it properly.

Hoovers need suction time, so move it slowly and intentionally.

9. The filter is forgotten about

Your filter will either need washing or replacing every so often. Every time you empty the dust compartment, this should be checked for dust build up and any wear and tear. It won’t be able to pick up dust if it isn’t at its best.

Allergens also won’t be removed if it is clogged with grime. Check your user manual for the best-recommended care schedule.

10. You dust furniture after vacuuming

Dust has a horrible habit of just moving around. You’re never ever going to get every single bit picked up, unfortunately. So what is the point in getting a lot off the carpet, to then dust your coffee table, and disturb the dust, allowing it to drop back on to the carpet?

If you do it the other way round, any disturbed dust will be picked up. Even better, make use of those attachments and ensure any left behind is picked up before it has the chance to move. The same applies if you’re vacuuming ceilings and other high-up areas.


If you think it is time for a new vacuum cleaner or want to grab one you can make the most of from the very first use, take a look at our top picks. Whether you want one for your allergies, pet hair or to use in the car, we have reviewed the best vacuum cleaners, so you don’t have to.

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